By Dan Chambers
One day last week, Andrea called my attention to a news story that appeared on the homepage of “Yahoo.” The story told how in England back in 1945 a grandfather gave his seven-year-old grandson, John Webber, a mug to play with. It was a golden-colored cup about 5 ½ inches tall, and was decorated with the heads of two women facing in opposite directions, their foreheads garlanded with two knotted snakes.
Among other things, seven-year-old John used the cup for target practice with his air gun, but it survived intact, and eventually was stashed away and largely forgotten. Sixty-three years later that mug was still languishing in a shoebox under seventy-year-old John’s bed. When John moved last year, he decided to get the bronze cup valued. As an English scrap metal dealer he believed he had a “good eye” for antiques.
It turned out that the bronze mug wasn’t bronze at all. It was actually a rare piece of ancient Persian treasure, beaten out of a single sheet of gold hundreds of years before thebirth of Christ. Experts said the method of manufacture and composition of the gold was “consistent with Archaemenid gold and gold smithing” dating back to the third or fourth century B.C. The Archaemenid empire, the first of the Persian empires to rule over significant portions of greater Iran, was wiped out by Alexander the Great in 330 B.C.. The cup will go up for auction in England in June 5, and is estimated to fetch around 500,000 pounds, which is about $1,000,000.
Imagine that—for over six decades there was a treasure within John’s reach that would make him rich beyond his wildest dreams, and he didn’t even know it. John’s story reminded me that every person in this world has within his or her reach a treasure that will make him or her rich beyond their wildest dreams and most don’t even know it, or they don’t do anything about it.
Of course I’m talking about the treasure of eternal life through Jesus Christ. In Romans 10:12-13 Paul says, “For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for, Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Notice that, through the Holy Spirit, Paul uses the word “riches” to describe the salvation that the Lord offers everyone.
If you’re a Christian, do you realize how rich you are, and do you thank God every day for making you so rich? And, if you’ve not obeyed the gospel, I hope you’ll realize the treasure that’s at your fingertips and do something about it today.
–Dan Chambers, via THE SOWER, a weekly publication of the Arthur church of Christ, Arthur, IL. Ron Bartanen, who serves as minister and editor, may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.arthurchurchofchrist.com